Today I took Aleksa and Wesley to the Opthalmologist. This is the one appointment that I have been looking forward to the most for both kids, second being Wesley's PT eval where I learned what stretches to do for him. The next two are Ortho (Thursday) and GI (next week) for Wesley where we'll also get some answers for him.
Today we got quite a few answers, though.
First, Aleksa. She's near sighted, fairly significantly (a script almost double Emma's), and will be getting glasses immediately. We went ahead and picked some out there in the office and when I bring my other 4 kids to their eye appointments later this month, they will bring the new glasses and 'fit' them to the kids at that time. I'm glad to hear this is what's going on with her, since it answers some questions about her depth perception and going down stairs and ramps and such. She seems like she'll wear the glasses fairly well! Here's hoping...
Wesley is blind.
Although we were told this months ago before we adopted him, we knew that Wesley was able to follow us around a room and follow objects up to about 3 feet away with good accuracy. He seems to be able to distinguish people even without their voices present. It seems like he can actually see pretty well.
But he can't.
Wesley's optic nerve has "severe atrophy and is misshapen" on both eyes. In addition to that, he is significantly nearsighted. Here's some info straight from PubMed Health website about the optic nerve:
"The optic nerve carries images of what we see from the eye to the brain."
"Optic nerve atrophy causes vision to dim and reduces the field of vision. The ability to see fine detail will also be lost. Colors will seem faded. The pupil reaction to light will diminish and may eventually be lost."
"Damage from optic nerve atrophy cannot be reversed. The underlying disease must be found and treated, if possible, to prevent further loss."
We were told that Wesley may have "I can see you waving 3' away" vision, or he may have "I can count your fingers 2' away" vision. But even with glasses he's not likely to have any better vision than that. Realistically, he should be completely blind based on the way his optic nerve looks. Obviously... he's not :).
As far as preparing for "life" with Wesley, we should focus on bright distinctive colors with high contrast that are close up for anything that we want him to learn. Using a communication device may or may not be feasible, but something with broad ranges of possibilities of size, color, and contrast will likely be a possibility.
We were also told that glasses may or may not even help him. And he hates them. Passionately. The mommy in me that wants to be able to do the best that is possible for him really wants to try the glasses. Maybe he'll see more. Maybe he'll get used to them too. And if not, then we have wasted $100 but gave it our best shot. So, that's what we'll do.
Time for reality. Next is orthopedic doctor on Thursday where I'll find out if his hips are dislocated or not and if he can do weight bearing in PT or not. It will make a huge difference on what direction we go from here with PT and what type of orthotics we get him, etc.
Now we have 4 kids in glasses. When we have the other 4 kids' vision evaluated later this month, do you think we'll have 5 or 6? We shall see...